Photo by Navin Weeraratne
My friend Navin took this amazing photo above. It’s an epic image of the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake greeting protestors on a day of protests and counter-protests. I think it show the problem the government has here. The last time I saw a picture this epic was when government Minister Wimal Weerawansa was fasting against the UN and Mahinda came to revive him with a glass of water.
Image from the Weerawansa fast.
It’s weird, cause the ruling family usually gets what they want, but in this case they seem to have overreached. I mean, on a procedural level they can probably still impeach the Chief Justice, especially since the people controlling the Parliamentary Select Committee are the ones accusing her in the first place. However, they are taking some significant damage in the process.
I suppose people don’t care how power is executed as long as it’s done, but in this case they’re picking on a Chief Justice who, if not especially beloved as independent before, nonetheless looks innocent and has less negatives than, say, Sarath Fonseka. Messing with the judiciary is a very risky proposition, as the former leaders of Pakistan and the Maldives could tell.
Will the Rajapaksa’s get away with it? Probably. But the optics don’t look good.